Women in Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning - Stories from Rwanda

Date: 05 September 2021
Women in Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning - Stories from Rwanda
Women in Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning - Stories from Rwanda

STORY BY VALARIE MUKANDAYISENGA

My motivation and the reasons why I decided on this sector:
•    As a professional technician in RAC, it is good to help others get a good life.
•    I will raise public awareness about the refrigerants which are being phased out and their toxicity.
•    I will go into all areas using refrigerants and check if they are still using the toxic ones, and I will tell the directors to remove those old components and buy the new which use good refrigerants.
•    I decided to work in this sector because I am a professional technician in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) and I need to help everybody by teaching them about the environmental and human health impact of RAC.
•    I will help my country in its task of removing toxic refrigerants and using the good, new refrigerants.
•    I’m very happy to be in this sector because I’m a woman and because many people have hope in women and human life.
•    It will help me to teach them about RAC.
•    I will teach people that saving Mother Earth means not releasing refrigerants and chemicals into the atmosphere but recovering the refrigerants to reuse.

Challenges and successes

1 When moving damaged compressors as I was working with other technicians not trained in air-conditioning and refrigeration, they cut the pipes without keeping the refrigerant, which they put into the atmosphere.

- Telling them that it was not good to remove any component in an air-conditioner or fridge without keeping the refrigerant and it was not good to let out the refrigerant as it damaged the atmosphere and human life.

- Teaching them every day about toxic refrigerants.

2. Not enough equipment in some areas/companies for doing maintenance and repair.

- Telling the directors to remove those old components and buy new ones which used good refrigerants.

3. In many areas, there are many kinds of refrigerants that are being phased out or toxic.

- Teaching everyone every day about the evils of toxic refrigerants.

- Telling them the advantages of refrigerants that are not toxic.

STORY BY FLORA NIYONIZERA

I decided to work in the Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (RAC) sector because I wanted to make my contribution to the development of my country by reducing ozone pollution and encouraging women to work in RAC.

I have had training on ozone layer protection from the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), as well as training in servicing and general maintenance, which has included testing, diagnosis and repairing of refrigerators in different fields at Kabgayi Hospital and six months of professional training in car air-conditioning at the Kabgayi Garage Company Ltd.

I completed my Advanced Level in Motor Vehicle Mechanics at IPRC West (ETO Kibuye) and my university studies at Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) IPRC Kigali in the field of air-conditioning and refrigeration technology.

The challenges have been that most people do not understand the importance of ozone protection and why we need to reduce atmospheric pollution. Also, I was the only girl in the class.

I have installed new air-conditioners in different offices and done servicing and general maintenance of older air-conditioners as well as testing, diagnosis, repair and charging of the refrigerant in different laboratory refrigerators and in Kabgayi Hospital as a refrigeration and air-conditioning technician.

Find out more on our website about: refrigeration

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